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Just Like Josh Gibson Paperback – January 9, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3--A young narrator opens this story about her grandmother with an anecdote about the legendary Josh Gibson, a Negro League player who once hit a baseball so hard in Pittsburgh that it landed during his game in Philadelphia the next day. That was the day Grandmama was born. Her father brought a Louisville slugger to the hospital and vowed that his daughter would "make baseballs fly, just like Josh Gibson." She became as good a player as the boys on the Maple Grove All-Stars, and sometimes she was invited to practice with them. When her cousin hurt his arm during a game, Grandmama got her chance to hear the cheers as she ran the bases, "stealing home." Peck's well-designed, richly colored pastel artwork, which shows people with emotion and depth, is clearly the highlight of the book. Young Grandmama, in yellow pedal pushers or a pink dress, stands out among the boys' white uniforms and the burnt orange chest protectors of the catcher and umpire. A close-up at the end shows the narrator holding the very ball her grandmother hit, as the older woman looks on, her hand on a photo of the team. Information about Hall of Famer Gibson is appended. Although the story is slight, it imparts the message that a girl can succeed at a "boy's game" if she sets her mind to it.--Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Johnson pays tribute to Negro Leagues legend Josh Gibson in this poetic picture book about a girl who longs to play ball. The narrator is a young girl, who tells her grandmother's story. Grandmama's father, a die-hard Gibson fan, teaches his daughter to play baseball, even though there were no teams for girls in the 1940s. When her cousin Danny is injured in a game, Grandmama fills in. Wearing her "pink dress with a white bow," she bats and catches "just like Josh Gibson," earning cheers that she still cherishes. Johnson tempers what could have been a sentimental tale with Grandmama's contagious enthusiasm and sense of empowerment, and her text has a baseball announcer's suspenseful rhythm: "the balls sailed away, sailed away, gone." Peck's angular pastels, while occasionally awkward in the details, skillfully capture the nostalgic sports action and celebration as well as the pride the girl feels in Grandmama's accomplishments. A closing note offers a brief, nicely documented biography of Gibson. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 920 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141692728X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416927280
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.2 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The girl-playing-sports picture book exists, no question. Scanning the shelves of your local library you'll find one or two of that specific genre. But how many picture books are historical looks at girls playing sports? Few. And how many cite specific historical characters, like the legendary African-American baseball player Josh Gibson? Fewer. Definitely fewer. Finally, how many are worth reading to your kids over and over, filled with impressive pastel illustrations? Very few indeed.
Enter "Just Like Josh Gibson". Another worthy picture book from the multi-talented and remarkably gifted Angela Johnson. Book editors like to pair Johnson with an array of different illustrators, and it is just our luck that the one chosen for this particular book is the multi-talented Beth Peck. The story is told by a grandmother to her granddaughter about her baseball playing past. Here we see the grandmother as a skinny black child in a long pink dress. Taught to play baseball by her father she's a natural at the game. The balls she hits soar out of sight, though those watching her chant to themselves, "But too bad she's a girl... Too bad she's a girl...". The girl's chance comes at last when one of the boys, her cousin Danny, on a local baseball team hurts his arm. Changing into her cousin's shoes (pink dress still firmly in place), she wins the game and remembers years later how good it felt to hear the cheers while stealing home. The book ends with a historical note about the legendary Josh Gibson (a player that the Grandmother always idolized) as well as additional information (well cited) about the role of women in the game. I was especially interested in learning that a woman once played in the Negro Leagues when slugger Hand Aaron left to join the Braves.
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Format: Paperback
Grandma loved baseball because her dad would practice with her in the early mornings. Grandma was not allowed to play back in the day because girls play with boys. The details about Josh Gibson's life in the back are a historical plus. The illustrations are detailed and truly bring you into the scene of action. Great read! 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A book from my daughter's Second Grade Reading list. It was great to have this book at home where she could read at her leisure. So glad you had it!
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Format: Hardcover
My family of boys loves baseball books, and this book is no exception. There's just something about baseball.

This is mostly the story of a young girl who wants to play with the kids in her town, but girls aren't supposed to play ball. Still, she practices and she's good, and she does get to play.

**Note to publishers and authors -- that's enough free verse.** If it were not for Beth Peck's illustrations (looks like oil pastels) in this book, I would have rated it lower. We need books written in standard English.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love it. Great story for any baseball lover!
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